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A lifelong New York City resident who was, and is, a part of an industry that literally shouts "New York" is hard to find on the
Grand Strand, but we have one. His name is Mr. Irving and he is a master apparel designer and tailor. Even though he is of retirement age, he is still using his talents to bring a truly professional
level of needlework to Myrtle Beach.
Born and raised in Manhattan and graduated from the High School of the Fashion Industry and from FIT, the Fashion Institute, which is the nation's most prestigious institution for people desiring to have careers in apparel design and manufacturing. Adding to his experience was that his parents and other members of his family who had come to America were also in the apparel industry.
The heart of the nation's fashion industry is right there, in the east and west 20's of mid-town Manhattan. He worked there from the time he was a teenager. When he graduated he went to work as a stock boy in a men's apparel clothing house on the lower East Side. His interest was in the engineering side of clothing manufacturing. Some of his earlier positions were in the design and engineering equipment to produce clothing.
Not long after graduation, he landed a job with what became the giant Burlington factory. Then it was on to Jonathan Logan in an engineering position. He became their director of manufacturing.
Then came a position as general manager of the Villager line and he went on to become vice president of manufacturing with Polo - Ralph Lauren. He said Lauren would come to him with his personal design sketches and he would set up the engineering to produce those products for sale all over the world. "His sketches would show how he would want the garment to look and I would have a team of pattern makers and sample makers turn out exactly what he wanted," stated Mr Irving.
Mr. Irving is a "master pattern maker," which means he can design and make just about anything when it comes to apparel and other products manufactured from textiles. As time went on, he was presented with an opportunity to develop his own manufacturing operation in the south and moved to Myrtle Beach. His business went very well until the big exodus of textile manufacturing began. He blames it on the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade deals that forced him to either compete at the level of oriental manufacturers, or get out of the business.
Today he operates Unique Boutique & Tailoring in downtown Myrtle Beach. Because of his experience, he has been able to teach his staff how to work in many textile mediums. Just about anything a person could want in textile design work - including leather and synthetics - can be handled at Unique Boutique & Tailoring.
Among his more notable products was a swimsuit line for Hard Rock Park. He can produce large or small projects. Single customer designs are welcome as well. Unique provides master tailor services for people who want custom fit clothes.